Bleats

Guys, If You're So Cut Up About The Tayla Harris Statue, Take A Look At These Gems

Statues should NOT be made with chainsaws.

Earlier this year, AFLW player Tayla Harris, was photographed kicking for goal – a thing people do when they play football. The photograph received so much online abuse it became the centre of media attention for what felt like weeks.

Original photo of Harris during the match between the Western Bulldogs and Carlton Blues.
Credit: Women Sport Australia, Michael Willson.

It’s a powerful shot that shows off Harris’ athleticism but trolls thought it was “unladylike” and “disgusting” for reasons we’re yet to understand. Some of the comments were so vile Harris said they made her feel sexually abused.

And now the trolls are out to play again because apparently, jeopardising an athlete’s mental health once wasn’t enough. Today at Melbourne’s Federation Square, a statue of Harris and her famous kick was unveiled, commissioned by NAB. Nasty comments are resurfacing: “It’s satanic,” and “Didn’t a large bank pay for this? Hard not to be cynical.”

Tayla Harris and the prototype statue at Federation Square in Melbourne.
Credit: AAP Image, David Crosling

This Twitter user has nobly informed us of the rules surrounding statues:

Link to tweet

I’m inspired by this Twitter user who appears to have plucked this standard right out of nowhere. So much so, that I’ve also decided to make up my own rule based on nothing: anyone who takes issue with Harris’ statue should also take issue with these gems…

Melania Trump’s Statue

Link to tweet

The proportions here are very questionable. However, the Slovenian artist did craft the statue using a chainsaw so how picky can we get, really? Melania’s nose looks like a large button and the larger-than-life figure also has a distinctly grassroots and village-like feel- sort of the opposite of Melania’s entire vibe. Awkward statue rating: 8/10.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Statue

Link to tweet

Will we ever forget the horror of this statue? The soft-serve like hair, the exaggerated crow’s feet and the enormous Adam’s apple… I could go on. There’s perhaps nothing very positive to say about this statue of the famous soccer star. Also, its neck is so thick it looks more like a quadracep. Awkward statue rating: 9/10.

Colin Firth

Link to tweet

This 2013 statue of Colin Firth was erected in London’s Hyde Park and was absolutely massive. Considering how creepy it is, it’s unsurprising that it was taken down. Just look at those giant hands. I’ve never seen a head quite that round before. It sort of looks like a giant, taxidermy, Firth. Awkward statue rating: 10/10.

Andy Murray

Link to tweet

Professional tennis player, Andy Murray, was gifted this statue after winning the Shanghai Rolex Masters in 2011. I’ll be the first to say it: it’s not so much the statue that’s strange, it’s the player’s awkward pose with it that cranks up the strangeness. The statue itself looks like something from the set of lord of the rings. Why is he wearing armour? The square head and weird racket placement doesn’t do it any favours either. Awkward statue rating: 6/10.

David Bowie

Link to tweet

I won’t beat around the bush: this David Bowie statue from Aylesbury, England looks utterly alien-like. The leathery-skin effect the artist went for is really discerning. Bowie also looks undernourished and, for a reason we’re unsure of, he’s floating. To add insult to injury they’ve given him gold teeth, red hair and have dressed him in some sort of pirate get-up. Awkward statue rating: 7/10.

The takeaway here is that yes, to freeze someone in time is quite bizarre and often, it goes horribly sideways. There’s nothing wrong with throwing a bit of shade at artistic interpretation. But throwing shade an innocent athlete? That’s a different can of worms that should have never been opened.

45 Women Have Died From Violence This Year - Men, Where Is Your Outrage?

I'm tired of waiting.

Nine months into 2019 and 45 Australian women have lost their lives to violence this year, according to Impact For Women. The majority of these deaths have been the result of male brutality.

But it feels as though not one high-profile man in the media has taken the time or used their power to draw attention to this very fact: women continue to die at the hands of violent men.

Where are the angry men?

And I’m calling it: women need a Waleed Aly moment. We need someone in the limelight to make an informed, passionate speech about violence against women – and we need that moment to explode. Just like Aly’s emotional speech did after the Christchurch shooting. Australia listened. 

But when we really take a look at things, was it Aly’s responsibility to speak up after the horrific attack? And is it a woman’s responsibility to speak-up after our female counterparts are abused? Of course, the minority deserves to have a voice, but the majority desperately needs to step up.

In the wake of Christchurch, what would have happened if one of Australia’s countless white news anchors had confirmed the very real reality that white supremacy groups existed in this country too?

People belonging to the ‘perpetrator’ group need to use their power to spread important messages – when you’re from this pack, you often hold more social-sway. Violent men – believe it or not – are less likely to listen to a woman when they talk about violence against women.

Here’s where collective responsibility comes into play. Collective Responsibility denotes the concept that a person is responsible for other people’s actions by tolerating, ignoring or harbouring them, despite the fact they haven’t participated in the action themselves.

It’s a hard pill to swallow for many, and that’s completely understandable. Most of us don’t want to associate with violence in any way. But we need to put ourselves there.

What perpetuates violence against women is not just the violent perpetrators – it’s the choices of non-violent men. It’s passivity and it looks like this:

Seatbelts on…
  • Not intervening when your female co-worker looks uncomfortable around a male colleague
  • Not saying anything when your friend inappropriately interacts with a woman at a club
  • Not protesting when your mate calls a woman a ‘bitch’ or ’slut’
  • Not using your influence to condemn, and start a discussion, around violence against women

By remaining passive during these circumstances you’re sending a message: as a society, we tolerate this behaviour. That makes you part of the problem.

I am stuck with this question and it grows louder and louder while women continue to die at the hands of violence: Men, where is your outrage?

It’s Official: Period Pain Affects Productivity And It’s Costing You The Equivalent Of A Holiday

In a chronically time-poor society, women are the poorest.

The largest survey to date has been conducted on periods and how they’re affecting your life. Facts on how much time women really lose due to productivity-loss during menstruation are officially out there, thank you very much.

And guess what guys? The time tallies up to a whopping 8.9 days per year. Which, according to my calculations, is enough time to catch a flight to Asia, have a week-long adventure, and come back. Not depressing at all.

Us, eating our feelings to cope with these stats.

The report, published in the BMJ Open medical journal, surveyed 32,748 Dutch women aged 15-45.

Just under 14% of respondents said they took time off of work or school during their cycle – a not-so-shocking stat. We’ve all had at least one particularly rough period day and for women living with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis the bad days can really add up.

But what’s not cool, fun or appealing is that only one in five respondents told their employer or school the legitimate reason behind their sick day. 

Ladies who menstruate: why we lying?

Yep, there’s still a major taboo around periods. 

We’ve ridden the women’s body hair wave and we’re speaking out about transgender experiences but what we appear to have totally flopped on is normalising women’s bodies and the things they do.

Unfortunately, we can’t see men stepping up to this challenge. It’s up to us, as women, to kill the awkwardness surrounding this totally normal bodily function.

We’re coming for you, period taboo.

So next time you call into work sick, tell it to your boss straight: I’ve got my period and it fricken’ hurts. 

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